Inside USC Annenberg: Thursday, October 10, 2013

USC Annenberg's award-winning student news outlets cover stories that affect international audiences as well as the heartbeat of the USC campus. In broadcast, print, radio, and online formats, student journalists learn and innovate on the cutting edge of modern news.

As USC Annenberg starts constructi0n on the new Wallis Annenberg Hall, which will open in Fall 2014, the school's news outlets anticipate the use of a converged newsroom where students from all Annenberg outlets will collaborate within a state-of-the-art media center.

Looking ahead to these future collaborations, here's a rundown of a few award-winning pieces and productions by USC Annenberg student publications:

1. In June 2013, Neon Tommy and Annenberg TV News won many awards at the 55th annual Southern California Journalism Awards, beating out major professional outlets including the Los Angeles Times, LA Weekly, KPCC, Fox Sports, the Hollywood Reporter, and several others.

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ATVN won first place for best student media news website with judges saying the "beautifully organized and informative website surpassed many professional operations." Out of 13 nominations, Neon Tommy won ten awards, including a first-place win for former Managing Editor Paige Brettingen for her feature, "iPals: Connecting Students Half a World Away."

For a full rundown of the wins, look here.

(Catherine Green) (Catherine Green)

2. In the wake of the shooting deaths of two USC students, Neon Tommy produced dozens of stories reporting and analyzing the nuances of the case. In April 2013, the online site won first place from the Society of Professional Journalists Mark of Excellence Awards in the category of Online News Reporting. Editors and reporters Catherine Green, Paige Brettingen, Benjamin Gottlieb, and Shako Liu were cited as key contributors to the package. Neon Tommy's staff was in Las Vegas to accept the awards; the publication also won Best Independent Online Student Publication, as well as several other awards for individual reports.3. Annenberg Radio News' Aaron Schrank (now working for NPR) won first place at the same SPJ awards in the category of Radio Feature for his piece "A deaf man hears music." Schrank recounts how a college student, mostly deaf since birth, listened to Mozart with the help of new hearing aids.

4. Vicki Chen, a former executive producer for Annenberg TV News, won an SPJ award for her broadcast piece, "Urban Barn Teaches Teamwork through Horseback Riding":

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5. Former Neon Tommy sports reporter Jonathan Kendrick wrote a story in February 2012 that has won a number of awards from a couple different organizations, including the Society of Professional Journalists and the L.A. Press Club. "How High School Eligibility Rules Spiked Todd Hunt's Football Dreams" followed a young man who hoped to play college football after leaving his home state of Connecticut to escape threats of murder.